Glocal Junction, which entered Hyderabad just about a year ago, was among the first urban-youth oriented bars in the city. The following months witnessed the arrival of others like Sly Tech, The Lal Street, and Mocha Bar. In the ever shifting culinary landscape of the city, successfully completing a year is no small feat. Harsh Tuli, the Strategic Business Head of Glocal and other FoodLink properties in Hyderabad, explained that stand-alone properties need to continuously reinvent themselves to keep people coming back. In light of this, Glocal Hyderabad has introduced a completely new food menu. I was told that a relaunch of the drinks menu is also in the pipeline.
Glocal’s philosophy is to offer global dishes with a local touch. Out-of-the box fusion dishes often run the risk of ending up being a pretentious, unappealing hotchpotch. However, during my first visit, Glocal impressed with plenty of inspired creations. Dishes like Hot Tennessee Burrahhh, Chaat Piza, and Baked Filter Kapi made me keep coming back for more. The new menu hopes to achieve the same. Executive Chef Rohan Phillip revealed that several customers felt that the previous menu didn’t have enough choices for vegetarians. One of the focus areas was creating interesting vegetarian signatures that everyone would love to order. After trying a smattering of veg options, I was impressed by the effort of Chef Phillip. Tokri Chaat retains the flavour of the familiar Bombay Chaat, but comes in convenient, bite-sized baskets made from filo sheets. Doner Puri is a Mediterranean Twist on the Dahi Puri. At first glance, it’s hard to differentiate it from a regular Dahi Puri, but the moment you bite into it, the taste of the Lebanese grilled chicken bits mixed with hummus and lettuce will surprise you. Colocasia (Aarbi) Tuk is inspired by the popular Sindhi snack made from potatoes. Veg Saoji Sliders use a toned down version of the legendary fiery Saoji masala from Nagpur. There’s even a Veg Keema Pav made from Soya nuggets that is deceptively similar in appearance to a Mutton Keema and is absolutely delicious. The main courses features dishes like Kadai Mushroom served on a perfectly crisp Potato Roastie.
My favourite dish from Glocal’s new selection was Kachapuri – a Georgian dish that looks similar to a Pizza. It is a boat-shaped bread stuffed with minced chicken and topped with a sunny side up. The eclectic Biryani Risotto from the previous menu has been retained and is now joined by Rice Congee with Soy Grilled Fish. Congee is a humbler cousin of Risotto from the far east. It’s a bit more liquidy and is often complemented with something sharp like kimchi, century eggs, or simply ginger and garlic. Chef Phillip chose soya marinated grilled fish topped with cheese to provide the contrast. The Buffalo Wings and Nasi Goreng were among the disappointments. While the Buffalo sauce was fiery, I missed the tangy punch. The Nasi Goreng’s fried rice completely missed the beat and was surprisingly drab.
Glocal’s launch menu sported a eclectic and fascinating dessert selection including the likes of Beeramisu, Kaalkatta Paan Cheesecake, Masala Chai Panacotta, and Baked Filter Kapi. Unfortunately, it seems most of the desserts found few takers in the city. Only the Paan Cheesecake and Panacotta have avoided the axe. One of the new options that was showcased is Oreo Banoffee Muffin. This is a dessert that’s definitely meant to be shared. A hefty Oero muffin slathered with cream and banana featuring a gorgeous crown of spun sugar.
The new menu at Glocal features several global dishes like the Israeli Sabich and the Georgian Kachapuri that aren’t available anywhere else in the city. I was disappointed to see a few of my favourites getting the axe, but it appears that my preferences aren’t aligned with what the city. I was surprised to hear that dishes like Disco Anda and Tennessee Burrah weren’t a hit. Although, Glocal is best known as a ‘high-energy bar’, it’s an entirely different beast before the sun goes down. The laid-back, cafe vibes during the slow afternoons is great if you want a peaceful meal. During the lunch hours, Glocal offers a buffet (Rs. 499 + taxes) aimed at corporates, as well as a Soups and Salads only option (Rs. 299 + taxes) for the health conscious. Glocal is also doing Sunday brunches featuring a more elaborate buffet, live counters, and unlimited liquor (Rs. 1000 + taxes).